Sep. 21—ADNA — Deadlocked at 1-1, and sending balls back and forth across the field in a physical game, it was Onalaska that made the finishing play in a 2-1 win over Adna Monday evening.
With minutes remaining, Logger senior Joscelin Escalera saw a ball fall right to her foot, and fired it just left of Pirates keeper Macy Kalnoski’s outstretched hands for the game-winner.
“We were passing pretty well, we had some good opportunities to shoot the ball and put a lot of pressure on them,” Loggers coach Christopher Van Clifford said. “She turned on the ball nicely and put it in the back of the goal, that was awesome.”
Shots flew throughout the game, but rarely found the back of the net, with both Kalnoski and Loggers goalie Alex Cleveland-Barrera playing terrific games in goal. Cleveland-Barrera saw 14 shots on goal, and recorded 13 saves in a winning effort, and Kalnoski wasn’t too shabby either, facing eight shots and saving six of them.
Ony got the jump on Adna first, scoring in the 14th minute after senior forward Cierra Russ put a perfect ball from the right sideline in the back of the net. But the Pirates (0-4) came right back in the 35th minute, after senior Summer White slipped past the Logger backline and got a ball past Cleveland-Barrera in a one-on-one situation.
The Pirates nearly had a chance to take the lead in the 54th minute, after a player was taken down in the box by Cleveland-Barrera giving Adna a penalty. Looking for her second goal, White sailed the ball far over the goal to keep the game tied at 1-1.
Going back and forth throughout, the Loggers got the last laugh in the non-league contest.
“It’s always great to win on the road and beat Adna, they’re our rivals,” Van Clifford said. “(The players) worked hard and they were really excited to play.”
For Onalaska, it’s a big momentum-builder for an already successful preseason. After dropping their first match of the season to Tenino, the Loggers have ripped off back-to-back wins over Forks and Adna, and with one of the best goalies in the region in Cleveland-Barrera, they’re just getting started.
“Alex is a great goalie, she’s done a lot of work to get to be as good as she is,” Van Clifford said. “She takes care of business back there, she definitely keeps us in games. It’s a lot of fun to watch her play.”
On the other end, for the first team in a long time, a Horst Malunat coached squad is 0-4. Though, the Adna girls soccer team has probably had the toughest preseason in the area.
“It was almost a playoff game, intensity wise,” Malunat said. “We didn’t have a preseason last year and we missed out on that. It’s an investment into the postseason. Preseason championships don’t mean anything, you want that postseason medal. I want this to be remembered and built into when we get there at the end.”
The Pirates have been able to create chances in each of their four losses so far this season, but have had trouble finishing them. Outside of a 4-1 loss to Montesano, they’ve been in every game against Castle Rock, Kalama, and now Onalaska.
In what he called one of their best attacking games of the young season so far, Malunat stressed that a couple fixes here and there could get the Pirates to where they need to be.
“We’re limiting teams’ shots, and we outshot them, but we need to have more quality with our finishes,” he said. “That’s going to be the key for us going on.”
During the game, the Adna players wore orange ribbons in their hair to honor coach Malunat’s father, who passed away recently of Leukemia.
“The dedication to my dad, I was touched by that,” Malunat said. “My dad brought the game to me, he was an immigrant from Germany. I kind of honor him by continuing to coach and keep the game alive and teaching people about it.”
The Pirates will look for their first win of the season against Stevenson on Wednesday, while Onalaska hosts South Bend.